Storage technologies (including batteries) are the key to unlocking the full potential of renewable energy generation, due to the intermittent nature of most renewable energy sources.
We have been involved in a number of battery storage transactions, including those at Drayton Manor Farm, a 75 acre site near Stratford-Upon Avon in Warwickshire.
We acted for Mongoose Energy, a leading asset manager, on what was, at the time, the UK’s first community energy deal involving co-located solar and battery storage (prior to Ofgem’s guidance), comprising acquisition from commercial developer Anesco (and related acquisition financing from Close Brothers and SASC) of three separate operational ground-mounted solar parks (aggregate 15MW) plus three co-located utility scale batteries.
Although we were acting for Mongoose, the transaction was part of the wider process to set up Heart of England Community Energy, the UK’s largest community energy company by assets, which owned the solar farms.
The transaction was Mongoose’s first foray into hybrid solar-battery projects. The battery systems were retrofitted following commissioning of each solar park. Importantly, the structuring of the grid sharing and metering arrangements had to be addressed, to allow the batteries and the solar parks, which were separately owned, to co-exist while using the same substation.
Our role was to conduct legal due diligence on all three sites, located on former Defra land.
We negotiated the SPA with the Sellers, including all related corporate documentation, and also negotiated the financing arrangements, including the senior and mezzanine debt facilities, and all related intercreditor arrangements. Separately, we worked on the long-term O&M contract with Anesco as well as the long-term asset management agreement.
The projects are set to deliver £3 million in local community benefits over the project lifetime. Mongoose Energy have since sold their asset management business to Bright Renewables, and we continue to work with the team (for which see our page dedicated to community energy).